In 2018, the NSW Government ran a competitive process to identify and support the best and brightest budding space entrepreneurs to attend a highly sought after business bootcamp in San Francisco. One of those entrepreneurs was Sebastian Chaoui, CEO, Arlula.
“Arlula is a marketplace for satellite imagery. We work with satellite owners across the globe and aggregate images for a range of industries. Our clients sign onto the platform to access images that can support their business in real time. The opportunity to attend the bootcamp and learn from the world’s best, as well as interact with other businesses and leaders in the same space was invaluable.” he says.
Passion for innovation
Sebastian has been working in the space industry for a number of years and has always had a passion for innovation but its sustainability has been tied to commercialisation. “Ever since my early days in space technology, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best in the industry. I recognised early on that success in the industry is not just a great idea but being able to commercialise it,” Sebastian shared.
“That’s what we did with Arlula. Satellites have been orbiting the earth for decades, collecting and collating imagery, but until recent years it has never been treated as a commercial data source. We’re lucky enough to have enabled that and now have clients all across the world using the platform to improve their business decisions and avoid disasters.”
On the right path
The bootcamp was an intense program that allowed attending entrepreneurs to interact with global leaders in space technology, discover new opportunities for their businesses and refine their offering.
For Sebastian and the Arlula team the bootcamp came at the perfect time, reaffirming the direction they were on. “I jumped onto the chance to attend the bootcamp as we were already moving towards the data opportunity and it allowed me to see the scope of the market for satellite imagery as well as the sheer volume of untapped satellite resources in the US and across the globe,” Sebastian said.
“So rather than change our path it really reaffirmed the direction we were headed and gave us even more motivation to continue,” he added.
Space has something for everyone
One of the key drivers in business for Sebastian and the Arlula team is the fact that space technology can be applied across so many industries.
“When we started working with satellite data and the use of imagery we quickly realised the enormity of its practicality to all industries.”
“Mining and agricultural businesses were already using technologies like Google Earth, but there were delays of up to 24 hours in the imagery. The technology we’ve built with Arlula means they can monitor their mines or their agricultural sites via high resolution imagery that is streamed in real time.”
The Future of Space
For Sebastian the future of the space technology industry is even more exciting than ever before. “The beauty of the space technology industry is that the future is just beginning. We’re starting to uncover the true potential of the technology and what it can do for all industries.”
“The challenge for businesses like ourselves, for governments and for those wanting to invest in the industry is to think outside the box. For example using satellite technology to monitor financial businesses.”
“Or throwing a wild idea out there, we could start space mining and manufacturing – using the innovations of space tech to support mining and manufacturing industries even further and could really give Australia the edge in the global market,” he added.
Discover more about Space Tech
Space technology really is the next frontier for business technology. To discover and learn more about space technology and to meet entrepreneurs in this space head down to CeBIT Australia 2019 (29 -31 October 2019) at ICC Sydney. https://www.cebit.com.au/
About CEBIT Australia:
29 - 31 October 2019, International Convention Centre Sydney